Do you set New Year’s resolutions to eat more healthfully, drink more water, or work out regularly? Do you achieve them?
Yeah, we thought so. Well, it turns out you’re in good company. About 80% of us slip and slide back into old habits instead of turning over that well-intentioned new leaf.
That said, there are some simple health tips and tricks that make changes easy to incorporate into your life — promise! Let’s take a closer look.
- Start Small
It’s Monday morning. Today’s your fresh start! From now on you’re going to drink 64 ounces of water, stick to that keto diet plan, and hit the gym for an hour, every day, without fail.
Not so fast. Making big, sweeping changes to your life isn’t the best idea. That’s because they can be difficult to maintain, and you’re bound to get very discouraged if you make even a small mistake.
Instead, try small, even tiny improvements. One more glass of water, a 10-minute workout, or another serving of vegetables. Setting goals that are easy to meet will boost your confidence and your motivation to build on success.
- Track Your Progress
Maybe you remember getting gold stars for good behavior as a child. Well, guess what? That system works just as well for adults. You might want to upgrade your sticker chart to a smartphone app; this will also provide incentives, crunch the data, and allow for social support. Or you can buy yourself an old-fashioned wall calendar and a pack of stickers. Whatever works for you!
Either way, it helps to see your progress. It can also motivate you to get the job done, rather than break your streak.
- Reward a Job Well Done
Lost a couple of pounds, or changed your sleep habits so you’re getting a solid eight hours each night? Good for you! Once you meet a milestone, give yourself a reward. Decide on something in advance so you can anticipate the accomplishment.
Don’t make the rookie mistake of undoing your progress, however. A reward for eating well all week shouldn’t be splurging on a hot fudge sundae; if you’ve gone to bed before 11 each night, a post-midnight Netflix binge isn’t the way to reward yourself.
Try something that reinforces your new positive habit. For example, if you’ve successfully stuck to just one heart-healthy glass of wine each night, shop metal wine racks and buy yourself a little something. The treat for achieving a flawless chaturanga pose could be a new pair of yoga pants. You get the idea!
- Solicit Support
It can be tempting to keep quiet about your attempt to improve. That way, no one will know if you fail. Plus, won’t it feel good to tell people you’ve been smoke-free for six months?
However, experts say that there’s support in numbers. Either employ the buddy system — if you don’t have an IRL buddy, find one online — or enlist the assistance of friends, family members, and coworkers.
Don’t just tell them your plans, though. Ask for specific help. You might request that colleagues stop offering to share their candy, or that your spouse puts the kids to bed so you can use the time to meditate.
What Simple Health Tips Will You Try?
Wellness is a journey in addition to a destination. By making small improvements, accepting a helping hand, and marking each milestone you meet, you will build a foundation of sustainable change.
How have you successfully set and met goals? Do you have any simple health tips that you’d like to offer? Comment below and let us know!